20 Apr Community – Awards
Susie Paxton Block Distinguished Public Service Award
Junior Service League honors one of its former members, Susie Paxton Block by granting the Susie Paxton Block Distinguished Public Service Award to public service employees, volunteers and elected officials who demonstrate excellence in service.
Block was a second-generation member of the Junior Service League, including a term as president, and she also represented the 3rd District on the City Council from 1992 until her death 1996. Her father, the late Bill Paxton, established the award to honor her memory and recognize individuals from city employees to volunteers.
The Susan Paxton Block Award is open to any city employee, volunteer or elected official who has demonstrated outstanding public service, valor and job performance with leadership.
A selection committee, comprised of local service club presidents, selects the recipient. The award is $1,000 plus a sterling silver medallion and a sterling silver lapel pin.
The Junior Service League presents the award annually at the City Council meeting just prior to Block’s birthday, September 24.
Mary Mildred DeWitt Girl Scout Patch for Service
Junior Service League honors one of its charger members, Mary Mildred DeWitt, by partnering with Girl Scout Troops in the Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri District and creating the Mary Mildred DeWitt Community Preservation Patch in 2010.
Girl Scouts may earn this patch by visiting a local historic landmark in their communities, as well as meeting other age-group specific requirements. The preservation aspect of the patch aims to educate girls on how to protect the things they love. That was something that was very important to Mrs. DeWitt and that’s something JSL would like to pass along to girls.
Mary Mildred DeWitt believed in community service. She founded the Independence Girl Scouts Council and serviced as its first President. She also was involved with the National Board of Girl Scouts of America.
Mrs. DeWitt made it her life’s work in preserving our community. As a member of the Jackson County Historical Society, serving as President from 1961 to 1963, she made preserving the community’s past a top priority. She was instrumental in saving the 1859 Jail. In 1960, she and her husband, J. Roger DeWitt, bought the Vaile Mansion to prevent its destruction. Until her death, Mrs. DeWitt worked tirelessly to restore the 23-room home.
Even after she died in 1983, Mrs. DeWitt left a legacy to the community she loved, including giving the Vaile Mansion to the city so it would be preserved for future generations. Junior Service League honors this amazing woman for what she gave to JSL and the entire community.